India announces cheap computers for rural poor

NEW DELHI (AP) ? India is launching a cheap tablet computer it says will deliver modern technology to help lift villagers out of poverty.

The computer, called Aakash, or “sky” in Hindi, is the latest in a series of cheap Indian innovations that include a 100,000 rupee ($2,040) Nano car, a 750 rupee ($15) water purifier and $2,000 open-heart surgery.

Government subsidies promise a $35 price tag for students and teachers, with a regular retail price of about $45 from manufacturer Datawind.

Indian Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal invited competition to help drive down the cost.

About 650 students collected the first Aakash tablets Wednesday and will begin training others in their use.